A guided descent into Class V whitewater
By Haven Livingston

Our bleary eyed group piled out of the bus and gravitated toward the breakfast table. The offerings were simply arranged and easily digestible. Clearly our guides had anticipated the army of butterflies that would be storming our bellies by the time we reached put in. Choosing thoughtfully, I picked up a cup of yogurt and focused on coaxing my butterflies to fly in formation. We were about to raft Cherry Creek on the Tuolumne River, the toughest Class V river that is commercially run in the U.S.

An overnight trip on the Tuolumne River ranks up there in my top five favorite summer short trips. The whitewater is fun, but not too scary, swimming holes are clear and cool, afternoons are spent playing bocce on the beach with a cocktail in hand, and side hikes up Clavey River to …